Gerdau Graphene has announced that it has created next-generation graphene-enhanced plastics at a Brazilian government-funded advanced materials center in SÃ£o Paulo.
The new graphene-enhanced polymeric resin masterbatches formulas for polyethylene (PP) and polypropylene (PE) were created in partnership with Brazil’s EMBRAPII SENAI/SP Advanced Materials Unit, and are being piloted in a series of industrial applications within Gerdau’s factories. The new thermoplastic products created using these formulas will be stronger and offer greater overall performance while costing less to manufacture and producing significantly less waste across the value chain. The first commercial deliveries are expected in June.
Gerdau Graphene is developing graphene additives for virgin resins as well as post-industrial and post-consumer recycled plastics and polymers, including PP, PE, polystyrene (PS), polycarbonate (PC), PVC, and more.
Alexandre CÃ´rrea, CEO of Gerdau Graphene, said: By adding specialized graphene additives to thermoplastic recipes, plastic producers can create stronger, more durable plastic products at a fraction of the cost and with far less petroleum and fewer raw materials needed. Because less plastic is needed for final products, less plastic becomes post-consumer waste. There are also downstream effects, including reductions in manufacturing waste, energy consumption, transportation, and more. And, circularly, plastics can be recycled into graphene and then reused.
Gerdau Graphene and SENAI are involved in this project to leverage the use of graphene in Brazilian industry, increasing its level of competitiveness in the face of opportunities arising from this global macrotrend, added Gustavo Spina Gaudencio de Almeida, Technology Coordinator at Instituto SENAI Innovation in Advanced Materials and Nanocomposites. The partnership signed at the end of 2021 provides a great opportunity to develop new materials, specifically masterbatches for use in polymers of great industrial application, highlighting the relevance of graphene to the market.